The value of scientific evidence in exploring the evolution of Social Marketing in Latin America

Understanding how social marketing has been used broadly over the past 40 decades in the Latin America region is the first step to position it amongst key social change agents in the region and to pave the way for it to reach its full potential.

Countries in the Global South face numerous challenges to attend, in a differentiated way, to the needs of their populations. For instance, some inhabitants of Latin American countries face limitations in accessing basic public services or in participating in the political, social and economic systems. This highlights the need to promote innovative initiatives that integrate social marketing approaches to influence behaviors and advance towards the solution of social problems.

Social marketing is a marketing subcategory seeking to initiate social change through influencing voluntary behavior change. This implies developing strategies at multiple levels and amongst a variety of stakeholders such as communities, organizations and structures. However, currently, organizations dedicated to social marketing research and practice in the Global South, specifically in Latin America, are limited. This gap represents an opportunity for the academic community to join forces and promote the dissemination of both conceptual and practice-oriented studies that can continue to feed research on this topic globally.

Research on the use of social marketing in Latin America has been scarce. This blog entry refers to a recent study by Alonso-Vázquez, M and Aya Pastrana, N (2022) on the topic (read article here). With Latin American authors, the review presents a historical and chronological overview of applications of social marketing in the region (read abstract here), facilitating understanding the factors that determined the implementation of the examined social change programs.

The study by Alonso-Vázquez, M and Aya Pastrana, N demarks a starting point in terms of what has been done in social marketing at the regional level, by understanding its trajectory in Latin American contexts. This would facilitate in the future, to compare conceptual differences in the field and, above all, to identify the challenges to promote the use of social marketing in the region and globally. This is important because it would favor the generation of alliances and the development of strategies that promote the use of social marketing as a tool to positively influence social change in Latin America.

Having scientific evidence exploring the evolution and uses of social marketing in Latin America could contribute to advancing efforts led by organizations such as the Latin American Social Marketing Association (LAMSO) and IMEK Research Center in Marketing & Development, the latter dedicated specifically to generating impact through marketing research addressing issues related to Health, Education and Gender in the Global South.

Conducting new studies that contribute to the scientific evidence and that are disseminated to organizations with the capacity to generate social change, could facilitate the design and implementation of relevant social marketing projects that respond to the needs of prioritized populations and to the possibilities of the contexts in which they live.

It can be concluded that social marketing oriented towards public policies from this regional perspective of Latin America, historically marked by inequities and inequalities, will continue to be a valuable contribution to the global understanding and for the advancement of social marketing.

Open the following link for more information about the study: click here.

Authors: Caicedo, M J; Aya Pastrana, N

Shopping Cart
Stephanie Aya Pastrana, MSc
Adherent Member


Stephanie is an architect from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali with a master’s degree in Urban Strategies and Design from the University of Edinburgh. She has professional experience in the design and development of architectural projects of different scales, also developing research projects related to the quality of public spaces in Cali (Colombia) and sustainable construction. She currently works as a consultant and full-time professor at the Faculty of Creation and Habitat of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali.